Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kaki King – Everybody Loves You (2003)

My introduction to Kaki King was a performance on Conan in 2003 or 2004.  It began inauspiciously; one young girl with her head down, hair hiding her face from the camera, slouched over an acoustic guitar held flat in her lap.  Without a word of introduction she began to play, and the sound was something I hadn’t heard before.  The song was from this, her debut album, on which every track but the last features only her solo acoustic guitar.  King often plays percussively, making liberal use of slapping and striking.  She also favors harmonic runs over traditionally strummed chords, lending the denser pieces a fragile ornamentation.  Critics have cited the lack of conventional melody as a weakness of this piece, but that seems unfair – this type of playing is more about texture and timbre than melody, though it is much more akin to folk than twelve tone music.  Those who characterize the acoustic guitar as an intimate or tender instrument may have trouble adjusting to the heady contents of this album.
I’d lost track of Kaki King in the last several years, and in doing a bit of research for this post, I found that she tours with a full band these days, and has played with the likes of the Foo Fighters and Tegan & Sara.  I’ll have to check out her latest sometime.

[YouTube] Kaki King – Close Your Eyes and You’ll Burst into Flames

Kaki King – Everybody Loves You
01 - Kewpie Station
02 - Steamed Little Juicy Bun
03 - Carmine St.
04 - Night after Sidewalk
05 - Happy As a Dead Pig In The Sunshine
06 - The Exhibition
07 - Close Your Eyes and You'll Burst Into Flames
08 - Joi
09 - Everybody Loves You
10 - Fortuna

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